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7/03/14 - My thoughts and observations from Thursday including a first visit to updated Alice in Wonderland attraction.
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Welcome to the disneygeek.com Geek Speaks section. In this section I will post my comments on trips to the parks or other Disney related events.

7/03/14 - My thoughts and observations from Thursday including a first visit to updated Alice in Wonderland attraction.

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday. I started my weekend off with a trip to the Disneyland Resort. The goal was to hope for some soft openings and just enjoy the festivities. The crowds were on the mild side, actually seemed lighter than some regular Fridays. Not sure if it was the warmer weather, holiday, block out dates, or a combination that led to the pleasant day but I am not going to complain. The weather topped out in the mid 80s and cooled down to the 70s (it was warmer than weather.com predicted on both ends).


Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I made a very quick pass through Disney California Adventure, spending only about an hour in the park. Not much going on, everything seemed status quo. I did stop by the World of Color Fastpass distribution to see if they were going to run the Patriotic Preshow as they had in the past. The first cast member had no idea what I was talking about and the second said they thought only on the 4th. So no firm answer but it fell in line with the blog/news release posting.

  • The 1:50pm All-American College Band set on the Backlot Stage was very well attended again. Not sure if it was because of the guest performer or guests now know of the set since it is on the time schedule. Either way it was great to see.

  • The Alice in Wonderland attraction was scheduled to re-open on the 4th of July. As luck would have it they were doing a soft opening on Thursday afternoon and I was able to experience the attraction. The attraction has never looked better (inside). The Imagineers did a great job of plussing the classic attraction. They brought in new projection effects, lighting, and figures. The overall effect was an enhanced experience without loosing its traditional feel. The new elements blend in well and seem to serve a purpose vs just being a cool effect. The extended outdoor portion was ok. Substantially better than the temporary solution, but with the wide path now the view is not as impressive or interesting as it originally was. The vine pattern on the edge is also an interesting choice that does not seem to go with anything else. Wonder if there is more work to do? I was really surprised not to see large railings lining the track. Glad to see they found a solution that worked without requiring those.

  • The rumor on the internet is all the dark rides are slated for updates in preparations for the parks 60th anniversary next year. If they all follow this pattern its going to be great to see and unfortunately means spending more time in line in Fantasyland! Thursday I went on Alice twice and waited about 30 minutes each time. I think that combined hour is more than I have waited for the dark rides in the past several years combined. I tend to avoid the lines and only experience them with minor waits.

  • Here is a video of my first ride through in case you missed it in the update. If you have not visited my picture set I also have several pages of pictures from my second ride through:

  • Thought it was interesting the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area was still closed. Thought they would have it open for the holiday weekend. Wonder if that means there will be no summer event back there this year? I saw in the Halloween Release it will be open for those festivities.

  • As you saw in the pictures the they have started to set up sets/props for the upcoming (starting the 9th) Legends of Frontierland Gold Rush entertainment. I guess you call it entertainment. From the description it seems to be almost a streetmosphere type of event. I did not get to the play test that was run last year so I have no first hand experience with the concept. I do not want to go into it with a negative mind-set but from what I have seen/gathered so far I would much rather have seen a new show in the Golden Horseshoe featuring a performing group like the Billys or a Revue show. Since I am not a big fan of improv or interaction but more a traditional theater setting. I found it kind of odd they placed the sets in a very busy walkway and not more out of the way in an effort to avoid bottlenecks. If the experience catches on should be interesting how this effects crowd traffic.

  • I was disappointed to see the french fries at the Tomorrowland Terrace had reverted back to their old ones. So were the shoe string fries a temporary trial? There for some other reason? Or was Thursday just an oddity? I thought the shoe string fries were much better all around than the traditional ones they had been serving. I was planning on eating there but due to this changed I made an audible to the Village Haus because it had the same food and air conditioning.

  • Thursday there was an Annual Passholder Preview of the Guardians of the Galaxy sneak peek. How is that for awkward? I preview of the preview. I showed up for the second showing hoping for a minimal wait and my luck panned out again. There was no wait at all. I walked up, they scanned my pass and I went right into the queue then the theater. There were maybe 100 guests, the theater seemed quite empty. With the low crowd and all the block outs in effect guess there were not that many Annual Passholders in the park today. The sneak peek consisted of a scene then what seemed to be an extended trailer. It lasted about 10 minutes. It was in 3D and utilized the in theater effects (motion base, fans, etc..). I found the preview to be much more humorous than I was expecting. If you are not interested in the film but looking for a place to cool down I would recommend checking out the sneak peek.. it uses a lot of the fan effect and was very cool inside.

  • I thought the new signage for the Guardians of the Galaxy sneak peek looked rather permanent compared to the other preview signage. Also was surprised they removed the LCD screens in the preshow area vs using them. Now is it time to start the speculation game if Captain EO will return or if something else or nothing will be there when the Guardians preview ends?

  • Closed out my evening with Disneys Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. This seemed to be the same abbreviated show they have done the past few years leading up to the 4th of July. On the 4th the base show is the same but they add one more segment and more fireworks. In terms of Disneyland fireworks shows I think this one is closer to the bottom than top. I have just never really been impressed by it. Compare it to Remember or Believe in Holiday Magic and it falls short. Even compared to Magical or Believe for me. It would battle Wishes for the bottom slot on my list.

    I have been asked if I would recommend the World of Color or the Fireworks at Disneyland and if you really want traditional fireworks you have to go with Disneyland but if you want a more complete experience with some fireworks I think the World of Color pre-show is much better. Here is a video I took last year:

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column, it can be found in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

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